Allbirds vs Cole Haan [Distinct Points to Know Prior Buying]

Written By Sunny

While I was looking for sustainable sneakers, one of my footwear enthusiast friends suggested Allbirds & Cole Haan.


Previously, I was not quite familiar with these brands. Hence, I made up my mind to purchase both of them and make a comparison review of Cole Haan & Allbirds.

Thus, you don’t have to be confused when choosing only one between them.

So, let’s jump into the details!

Overview of Cole Haan & Allbirds

Cole Haan

Its footwear manufacturing journey began long decades ago. It was 1928 when Trafton Cole and Eddie Haan founded the company in Chicago, Illinois.

At that time, the brand only sold men’s footwear. But today, a wide range of casual shoes, performance shoes, bags, other accessories like belts, hats, wallets, sunglasses, and outerwear are available for male & female consumers.

Due to business issues, Cole Haan’s ownership changed in 1975. It was handed over to a group of partners where George Denney was the head. They enhanced the sale by establishing more than 40 stores worldwide.

Cole Haan was then brought under the control of Nike, Inc. in 1988 and Apax Partners Worldwide LLP in 2012.

Right now, the brand has over 300 outlets around the world. And it is designing diversified products with the vision – to inspire people to live extraordinary, purpose-filled lives.


It is a newborn brand compared to Cole Haan’s debut. Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger started manufacturing simple-designed shoes in 2016.

They were fully focused on merino wool and eco-friendly ingredients. Besides regular sneakers, several lifestyle apparels such as socks, sweatshirts, hats, and lace kits are present in their collection.

But the most popular bestselling products are Allbirds Pipers & Runners. However, its Dasher 2 and Loungers hold prestige in traveling, hiking, and as a go-anywhere sneaker.


As a recent brand, Allbirds have 38 stores only which are situated across the United States, UK, Denmark, France, Germany, Tokyo, and so on. But it allows international shipping to satisfy their overseas customers.

Allbirds vs Cole Haan: 5 Major Differences

Meanwhile, you have got to know that Allbirds and Cole Haan differ in history, ownership, and available outlets. But these things can’t assist you in making a choice between the shoes.

So, I will compare their price, performance, comfort, and other features, which are essential to know before you buy any of them.

1. Price

Both are expensive in price tags. As a result, many people look for affordable alternatives to Allbirds.

But in comparison with Cole Haan, Allbirds is relatively inexpensive. Their shoes retail for $50 to $160, depending on the sizes. Even performance-oriented shoes such as Tree Runners and Dasher Relay also come in this range.

Cole Haan shoes also start at the same price as Allbirds. Everyday sneakers and slip-ons are easily accessible within $120.


But the price reaches up to 300 US dollars depending on the designs and sizes. For instance, Men’s Washington Grand Laser Wingtip Oxford retails for $299.95.

It is an elegant collection that is formed with premium leather, moisture-wicking lining, additional arch support, and an automatically molded footbed.

2. Material

Wool, Tree, Sugarcane, and Trino are the main ingredients of Allbirds. The brand says its Merino wool is superfine, breathable, temperature-regulating, and moisture-absorbing.

Most shoes have soft merino woolen upper and inner lining. And this line makes a comfortable zone at the interior of each pair.

The craftsmen use sugarcane and turn it into SweetFoam® midsole. The FSC-certified Tree fiber TENCEL™ Lyocell is largely used to make the uppers.

Recently, Allbirds have invented a high-quality knit by combining eucalyptus fibers and ZQ Merino wool. They have introduced this material as Trino (Tree+Merino).

Apart from this, Allbirds make use of recycled plastic bottles for shoelaces, castor bean oil for insoles, and bio-TPU for eyelets.

Now, let’s take a look at Cole Haan’s shoe material.

They have a wide variety of ingredients for huge footwear collections. However, leather and synthetic upper, EVA footbed, and rubber outsole is mainly founded in most dress shoes and sneakers.

There are also exceptions. For example, my GrandPrø Crew Sneaker has polyester and recycled materials mixed upper. It has a full-length bio-based rubber outsole and FlowerFoam™  midsole crafted from natural dandelion rubber.


3. Comfort

Though Allbirds proclaimed them Just the world’s most comfortable shoes, I have objections to this statement.

While using Tree Pipers, I was pretty satisfied with its moderate comfort. In my regular go-to, the pair delivered me supreme support. After one month, I switched to Cole Haan just to explore something new.

GrandPrø Crew just amazed me with its outstanding features. This pair seemed comfier and more supportive during my movement. So thought of buying formal Cole Haan shoes for my official events.

Consequently, I’ve purchased ZERØGRAND Wingtip Oxford for $150. The lightweight construction, smart design, breathability, and responsive cushioning have inspired me to realize that it is one of the Best Gifts You Can Give To Your Feet!


4. Water Resistancy

Allbirds shoes aren’t water resistant. You will only get some water-repellent editions in this brand. This advantage comes from the Puddle Guard® technology or Fluorine-free outer coating, which acts to keep feet dry.

On the other hand, Cole Haan produces numerous water-resistant and waterproof pairs. In those shoes, the leather itself stands against water, making the sets a decent pick for rainy days.

5. Sizing

Only whole sizes are available for most Allbirds. But the Tree Dashers & Tree Flyers come in half sizes too. The sneakers fit true to size on my normal feet.

Wide and extra-wide options are unavailable. Yet, Allbirds says on its official website to go a half-size or full-size up for wide and extra wide feet.

Cole Haan offers 0.5 sizes and full sizes. Similar to Allbirds, they are also TTS and deliver the ideal fit. Moreover, they manufacture medium and wide-width shoes.

Pros & Cons of Allbirds and Cole Haan


  • »Environment-friendly sustainable materials.
  • »Moderate Comfort.
  • »No break-in period.
  • »Water repellent.
  • »Breathable and lightweight.
  • »Intermediate durability.
  • »True to size.
  • »Good for hiking and casual wear.
  • »Half sizes are rare.
  • »Relatively limited design variety.
  • »Less collection of performance shoes.

Cole Haan

  • »A vast array of colors & designs, including athletic, formal, and casual attire.
  • »Properly fits to normal feet.
  • »Half sizes are easy to get.
  • »Water-resistant and waterproof options.
  • »Really comfortable and arch supportive.
  • »Responsive cushion.
  • »Lightweight and impressive breathability.
  • »Needs to break in.
  • »Expensive.

Cole Haan vs Allbirds: Which One to Pick?

Ready to go trekking but unable to decide which shoe to keep in your backpack?

Opt for comfortable Allbirds without any doubt. The shoes are also appropriate for short amateur running, traveling, and everyday wear.

On top of that, they are cheaper than Cole Haan and so will save your wallet. But the downside is they aren’t water resistant. So even if they provide you with great ventilation in summer, but won’t be reliable in the monsoon.

Cole Haans are good and offer the advantages Allbirds do. But this American brand has something more in its features. You can shop for casual and official footwear both from them.

The pairs are loaded with several user-friendly characteristics. Furthermore, you will get suitable Cole Haan tennis, golf, boating, and racing shoes.

For these additional benefits of Cole Haan, you will have to invest more bucks. If price isn’t a major issue for you, just go for these modern aesthetic shoes.


Is Cole Haan a high-end brand?

Yes, Cole Haan is a high-end brand that uses premium materials, and most of the shoes sell for 120 to 300 bucks.

Are Allbirds really worth it?

Absolutely! Considering Allbirds’ performance, features, and fit, it is a standard choice which certainly worths the money.

Who is Allbirds target customer?

Allbirds mainly fabricate shoes focusing on young travelers and hikers who hold an up-to-date taste in outfits.

Wrap Up

Cole Haan and Allbirds are easily distinguishable with their signature materials and appearance. But both of them are trendy and have a good reputation in the footwear industry.

Choosing any one between them won’t give you a single scope of regret. So which shoe you’re going to buy?

If you’ve any thoughts, drop them in the comment section. See you later!

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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